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College & Research Libraries News

Internet Reviews

Joni R. Robertsand Carol A. Drost, editors

Ten years ago, the first “Internet Reviews” column appeared in the February issue of C&RL News. To commemorate this anniversary, we asked the former editor of the column, Sara Amato, and the writers of the first two reviews, Barbara Valentine and Jan Tudor, to write reviews for us this month. Thanks to their initial efforts and the endeavors of the many librarians who have written reviews since that first February all those years ago, the column is still going strong!

TouchGraph. Access:www.touchgraph.com/;

KwMap. Access:www.kwmap.com/;

TinyURL.com. Access:http://www.tinyurl. com/.

In honor of the “Internet Reviews” tenth anniversary, and as someone who has always enjoyed playing with new tools on the Internet, here are three sites which you may find interesting, entertaining, and maybe even useful.

TouchGraph provides a Java-based applet that allows one to explore and graph connections between information resources. The Web site has several examples of sites using the TouchGraph software, such as Nature Navigator managed by the British Natural History Museum, which offers a Tree of Life Browser, and the Livejournal Browser, which allows one to see connections between personal blogs on that site. Also available is a Google browser, which allows one to enter a URL and see a graphical representation of related sites and nodes. This gives a very interesting visual characterization of a Web site’s neighborhood on the ‘net. TouchGraph browsers are great fun to test, and one can only imagine what they might do if applied to various full-text collections.

Proclaiming to be a “keyword map for the whole Internet,” KwMap provides a service that allows a user to find search terms related to his or her topic. By entering a keyword, a user is presented with a chart that contains two axes. One axis presents terms that contain the original keyword, and the other axis presents related terms. Below this is a chart of many related terms. For example, a search for electric carretrieves terms such as electric car repair, and electric car parts on one axis, and electric vehicle, fuel cell, battery, hev, and hydrogen on the other. While little or no information is available on how this keyword map is constructed, KwMap is an interesting tool to explore related search terms and concepts.

TinyURL.com provides a much-needed utility to convert long URLs into short redirected URLs, which are more manageable and not as prone to breaking by line wrapping when sending via email or posting to blogs and lists. Created by Gilby Productions, TinyURL.com is a free service, which claims it creates URLs that will never expire. This service certainly comes in handy when trying to share long urls in e-mail and other nonpermanent forums. TinyURL.com also offers a small javascript that can be dragged to your browser’s toolbar to make a quick link for creating TinyURLs. In short, TinyURL.com provides a great service!—Sara Amato, Bowdoin Collie, samato@bowdoin.edu

ValuationResources.com. Access:www. valuationresources.com/.

When valuing a privately held business, business appraisers need access to economic data and industry forecasts, public company financial data, merger and acquisition data, and valuation discounts and premiums. ValuationResources.com is a portal for business appraisers, business owners, and other individuals looking for valuation-related data. The site, owned by business appraiser Jeny Peters, Iras been in operation for several years.

What makes ValuationResources.com especially useful to students and librarians is its “Industry Reports” section. This section is organized by SIC (Standard Industrial Classification) code, because most business appraisers are in the habit of using the SIC code that best describes the company they are valuing for their research.

Joni R. Roberts is associate university librarian for public services and collection development at Willamette University, e-mail: jroberts@willamette.edu, and Carol A. Drost is associate university librarian fortechnical services at Willamette University, e-mail: cdrost@willamette.edu

For each of tire 230 SIC codes included in the section, annotated links are provided to free and fee-based sources that provide industry overview, issues and trends, industry outlook and forecasts, financial benchmarks, and compensation surveys. For example, here is a sample of the links provided for SIC 205x: Bakery Products:

Industry Overview, Issues, Trends, and Outlook

The Retail Baker’s Association

Retail Bakeiy Start-up Guide

www.rbanet.com/resources/bmbooks.htm

Guide covers operating percentages and industry statistics and includes resource lists.

Compensation Surveys

Baking Business

Wholesale, In-Store, and Retail Salary Surveys www.bakingbusine.ss. com/career/index. htm Salary and benefit surveys covering each segment of the baking industry. Available free online.

The list of links for each SIC is certainly not comprehensive, because site editor Jerry Peters includes only those sources that are data-rich and meet the needs of business appraisers. Still, if you have an SIC code in mind, ValuationResources.com is a great site to start an industry research project.— JanDavis,fiLResearch,jt@jtreseaich.com

O*NET Consortium: Occupational Information Network. Access:www. onetcenter.org/whatsnew.html/.

Job seekers, students, workers, employment professionals, counselors, and others interested in exploring occupations and careers will find this site a great place to start. The centerpiece of the site is a database of worker attributes and job characteristics developed by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (ETA) in coordination with the National O*NET Consortium. It replaces the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT), which ceased publication in 1991, and is billed as “the nation’s primary source of occupational information.” O*NET strives to provide a standardized way of defining and describing occupations, similar to the DOT; however, O*NET offers much more.

O*NET Online is a well-designed search engine for exploring the database. Search “Find Occupations” by keyword to produce a relevance-ranked list of all occupations including that word. Alternatively, browse by the “Job Family” hierarchy of occupations. Pulldown menus reveal categories such as “Architecture and Engineering,” or “Education, Training and Library,” or even “All Occupations.” In addition, the “Skills Search” feature allows searchers to locate jobs by choosing attributes of importance to them. Finally, with “Crosswalk,” one can use any of four other occupational classifications, such as DOT codes, to find matching O*NET-SOC (Standard Occupational Classification) occupations.

Each occupation listed includes the O*NETSOC code and three reports. The summary report describes characteristics most needed for each occupation organized under a dozen standard categories: tasks, knowledge, skills, work activities, work context, interest, work values, related occupations, etc. Especially interesting is a tab for wages and employment, which offers an occupation report by state, including outlook, trends, a career video, and much more. Detailed and custom reports offer other viewer options.

Beyond O*NET Online, this site is chockfull of information on the Consortium, other easily accessible O*NET products, career assessment guides and tools, research and technical reports, data collection methods, planned products and ways to contribute to the process. Browse the site map or FAQ first, as the numerous paths can be a bit overwhelming to navigate.

O*NET Online alone, however, is worth the stop for students searching for relevant careers at any point in their academic journey. Through it they can explore occupations, match skills, find out about salary and trends, or just see what is out there. Researchers, employment specialists, and others can dig deeper and discover a wealth of information about the world of work that is likely unavailable anywhere else.—Barbara Valentine, Linfield College, bealen@ Imfield.edu

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